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Paris mayor wins Socialists' presidential nomination

October 15, 2021

Anne Hidalgo will lead the beleaguered Socialist Party of France into the presidential election scheduled for April 2022. However, polls show her chances of unseating Emmanuel Marcon are slim.

Anne Hidalgo holds a red rose as she acknowledges the applause during the result of the vote of the Socialist Party nominating her as their candidate for the 2022 French presidential election
Anne Hidalgo, the daughter of Spanish immigrants, has been the mayor of Paris since 2014Image: Raphael Lafargue/ABACA/picture alliance

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo will be the presidential candidate for France's Socialist Party, results of a party vote showed late Thursday.

The 62-year-old politician defeated former agricultural minister and Mayor of Le Mans Stephane Le Foll to secure the nomination, the Socialists' first secretary Olivier Faure announced.

Hidalgo first announced her plans to run for the Elysee Palace last month, but her campaign performance so far has been seen as lackluster.

In a short speech at Thursday's party conference, she emphasized her focus on environmental and social issues.

She added that she would be the voice of all French women.

Record as Paris mayor

Hidalgo won reelection last year and, during her time in office, gained a reputation for being a crusader against climate change.

The mayor locked horns with motorists in Paris over her bid to banish cars from parts of the capital.

She introduced a 30-kilometer-per-hour (19-mile-per-hour) speed limit across the city and has doubled Paris' network of cycle lanes since 2015.

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What are her chances of winning?

Hidalgo will be one of the women bidding to become the first female president of France and unseating incumbent Emmanuel Macron. The other is right-wing populist Marine Le Pen from the far-right opposition party National Rally (RN).

Hidalgo is seeking to revive the electoral fortunes of the Socialist Party, which has hemorrhaged support in the years following the unpopular presidency of Francois Hollande.

But polls show her lagging in the race. Only 4-7% of citizens would vote for her if elections were held today, according to surveys.

While Macron has not yet confirmed if he will seek a second five-year term, he is widely expected to do so.

The centrist president and National Rally leader Le Pen are currently seen as the two most promising candidates in the race.

The election is scheduled for April 2022.

Splitting the left-wing vote

Many members of the Green party had hoped that Hidalgo would renounce her presidential bid to back their candidate, Yannick Jadot.

The Socialist mayor, however, has insisted she would stay in the race "to the end."

"Anne Hidalgo is very determined and will prove that she is in the race," her campaign manager, Johanna Rolland, said.

adi/nm (AFP, dpa)